What can I if I was charged with a hit and run?

I was involved in a hit and run. I’m 17. I got charged with no insurance, hit and run, and no license. I fleed the scene but I returned to the scene after police contacted me buy phone. When I got their I didn’t get arrested but he gave a ticket and said I need to present myself to court. Should I speak with a criminal law attorney? I’m in Benton County, WA.

Asked on November 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, definitely speak with an attorney.

1) Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime--you could face criminal liabilty (e.g. jail time) for doing this, and an attorney can help you defend yourself.

2) You want to try to negotiate, bargain, etc. the ticket down to the lowest possible offense. It may not be possible to reduce it in a hit-and-run situation--but a lawyer will maximize your chance of doing so.

3) Driving without a license is an offense--again, you want a lawyer defending you.

4) You could be sued by the victim of the accident--and without insurance, you'd have to pay any judgment yourself. You may need a lawyer for this, too.

There are lawyers who specialize in car accidents; contact one.


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